Central Africa: Cyphomyrus discorhynchus is known from the Upper Kasai and the Upper Congo River basin.
Eastern Africa: It is distributed in Lake Rukwa (Seegers 1996), Lake Nyassa, Lake Tanganyika and affluent rivers including the Rusizi and Malagarasi rivers (De Vos et al. 2001). Also found in the Mtera dam, and Lake Malawi and its catchment and the Shire River.
Southern Africa: This species is widespread in the Zambezi River system, with the exception of the Kafue River. It is also found in the Buzi and Pungwe rivers to the south of the Zambezi.
Zambezi River Demersal Habitat
This taxon is one of a number of demersal species in the Zambezi River system of southern Africa. Demersal river fish are found at the river bottom, feeding on benthos and zooplankton
Nutrient levels in the Zambezi River are relatively low, especially in the upper Zambezi; in that reach, above Victoria Falls, most of the catchment drains Kalahari sands, whose nutrient levels are inherently low due to their aeolian formation; moreover, agricultural fertilizer addition throughout the Zambezi watershed is low, due to the shortage of capital available to farmers of this region.
Nitrate levels (as nitrogen) in the upper Zambezi are typically in the range of .01 to .03 milligrams per liter. Correspondingly electrical conductivity of the upper Zambezi is on the order of 75 micro-S per centimeter, due to the paucity of ion content. From the Luangwa River downstream nitrate levels elevate to .10 to .18 milligrams per liter, and electrical conductivity rises to a range of two to four times the upper Zambezi levels. Not surprisingly, pH, calcium ion concentration, bicarbonate and electrical conductivity are all higher in portions of the catchment where limestone soils predominate compared to granite.
There are a total of 190 fish species present in the Zambezi River, including eel and shark taxa. The largest native demersal species present are the 117 centimeter (cm) long tiger fish (Hydrocynus vittatus), the 175 cm African mottled eel (Anguilla bengalensis labiata), the 120 cm Indonesian shortfin eel (Anguilla bicolor bicolor), the 200 cm Giant mottled eel (Anguilla marmorata), the 150 cm African longfin eel (Anguilla mossambica), the 183 cm Sampa (Heterobranchus longifilis), the 150 cm Cornish jack (Mormyrops anguilloides) and the 700 cm largetooth sawfish (Pristis microdon).
Kunene River Demersal Habitat
This taxon is one of a number of demersal species in the Kunene River system. Demersal river fish are found at the river bottom, feeding on benthos and zooplankton
The Kunene River rises in the central highlands of Angola, and thence flows southward to form a major element of the border between Namibia and Angola before the final discharge is to the Atlantic Ocean in the vicinity of the Angola-Benguela Front. The geometry of the Kunene riparian zone is distinctly narrow, with rugged arid landscapes persisting on both sides of the river over long distances, and a virtual lack of any extensive floodplains.
There is a relatively high rate of endemism of aquatic biota in the Kunene. Proposed expansion of dams on the Kunene poses a threat to biodiversity in the river, especially regarding proposals at Epupa Falls. However, a greater threat to the Kunene is a plan by Angola to greatly expand withdrawal of water from the river to expand irrigated agriculture by 600,000 hectares; not only will this action significantly diminish downriver flow rates, but also add considerable nitrate, herbicide and pesticide substances to the river.
The catchment area of the Kunene Basin is approximately 106,560 square kilometres (41,143 square miles) in area, of which 14 100 km² (13%) lies within Namibian territory. Its mean annual discharge is 174 cubic meters per second (6145 cubic feet per second) at its mouth on the Atlantic. Water quality of the Kunene River is relatively high, since the human population density and agricultural intensity is relatively low, including a conspicuous absence of overgrazing. However, bacteria and other microbial pathogens pose a material threat to Kunene water quality, due to the fact that only a small fraction of the domestic wastewater in Angola is treated;
Regarding freshwater bivalves, the central reaches of the Kunene manifest particularly high endemism, similar to parts of the Okavango, Chobe, Upper Zambezi and Etosha Pan basins. The bivalve Etheria elliptica, which also occurs in the Upper Zambezi, is a freshwater mussel in the family Etheriidae, known from a limited extent of the central Kunene River in Angola. It is threatened by proposed dam construction on the Kunene.
There are two endemic denmersal fish in the Kunene: the 26 centimeter (cm) long demersal Kunene happy (Sargochromis coulteri) and the demersal fish Hippopotamyrus longilateralis.
Habitat and Ecology
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Cyphomyrus cubangoensis
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
Barcode data: Hippopotamyrus discorhynchus
No available public DNA sequences.
Download FASTA File
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Hippopotamyrus discorhynchus
Public Records: 1
Specimens with Barcodes: 6
Species With Barcodes: 1
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
- 2009Least Concern
- 2007Least Concern(IUCN 2009.2)
Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems
The Zambezi Parrotfish (Cyphomyrus discorhynchus) is an elephantfish in the family Mormyridae. It is currently the only member of its genus. It occurs in several river systems across central Africa. It grows to a length of 31 cm.
- Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2011). "Cyphomyrus discorhynchus" in FishBase. June 2011 version.
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